The surest way to find out if someone is legally divorced is to locate the actual divorce decree filed by a spouse, according to Legal Zoom. Divorce records may be kept at either the state or county levels, notes About.com. The search can begin online by visiting state government sites and searching the database. If necessary, continue the search at an individual county site where the marriage took place.
Divorce records are rich with information related to the divorce including settlements, alimony and custody arrangements, says About.com. Some states offer access to divorce records free of charge, while others charge an access fee to conduct a search. There are also several alternative online sites that provide access to public record databases. According to Legal Zoom, searching a state's vital records database can often turn up a copy of a divorce certificate.
If a spouse has moved to another region or state, a records search may require a bit more investigative work. Contacting the county clerk at the courthouse where the couple was last legally married is a viable option, notes Legal Zoom. A person could ask the clerk if there is any record on file of a divorce decree. If there is none, the search could expand to other areas where the ex-partner may have lived and filed for divorce.